Saturday, January 17, 2015

Footedale Coke Works

The remaining ovens at the Footedale Coke Works are in severely deteriorated condition. Although it appears that most of the 400 ovens remain, what's left is just remnants. Mostly just the back of the ovens in one bank and one block remain. The land is currently posted as being by owned by the Menallen Coal and Coke Company, so whether the site is scheduled to be strip mined or not, I don't know. Right now there isn't anything going on out there.

The Footedale Coke Works date back to 1900 and were built by the Eureka Fuel Company. The Eureka Fuel Company was a subsidiary of the Illinois Steel Company, who had long controlled the coal lands and coke works of the Southwest Coal and Coke Company at Morewood and Tarrs. Eureka was formed in 1898 to develop more coal lands. That same year Illinois Steel and its properties were incorporated as the Federal Steel Company. By summer 1899 Federal had purchased nearly 6,000 acres of coal lands in Nicholson, German, and Menallen Townships in Fayette County. Footedale takes its name from the head of the Eureka Fuel Company, Charles H. Foote. By 1903 the H.C. Frick Coke Company had gained control of the Footedale mine and coke works. The ovens at Footedale were in operation until at least 1927, after which the coal was shipped through the U.S. Steel conveyor system to Colonial Dock on the Monongahela River. The raw coal was then shipped to U.S. Steel's byproduct ovens at Clairton. This system lasted until June 1957 when U.S. Steel closed the mines and dock. There is evidence that Footedale closed earlier than 1957.


These are the bank ovens.

Another view of the single bank ovens.

The block.

Very bad condition.

Just the backs remain.

Other than the ovens, the remains of this mine building and a small ash dump are all that remain.

Ash dump.

Another interesting thing that was not related to the mine is this old spring house.

The spring is still flowing.

An old pump and tank in the spring house.


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